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served by Zoroaster and his disciples, and we have them perpetuated to the present time in a small sect of Zoroastrians in India, as described by Max Müller in his Chips from a German Workshop; so that the germ of the hope may be found in their primitive facts. But Daniel, whose prophecies were most monarchical, and whose chronology was most exact, was, during and after the time he wrote his prophecies, in immediate intercourse with the ancestors of these Magi. And when we remember that the religion of these men had fewer points of divergence from Daniel's than that of
any other people then living, it is highly probable that he communicated the more general and universal of his prophecies to them. And when we consider the care with which they preserved the doctrine of Zoroaster, who recalled them to the true worship and service of the living God, it was to be expected that they would remember the teaching of Daniel, which they could not fail to see was from the same source as that of their own revered teacher. They also had opportunities of reviving this knowledge, not only from the Greek version of the Old Testament, which was known to all men of learning long before the advent of the
Son of God, but also from the small communities of Jews which were settled in Persia. Either this was the source of their knowledge, or there were preserved in their own records some equally explicit prophecy of the coming Deliverer. This alternative, could it be established, would most fully prove the general race influence of the Redeemer, even as to instruction. But as Haug in his Essays on the Parsis has published no such record, we are compelled to take the first as the true source of their knowledge.
But in looking for the reason for the action of the Magi, we must not forget the true value of the act itself. Here we have deeply religious people, prompted by what they regarded as a Divine impulse, under an equally Divine direction, to come to the birth of a Divine King, who, although primarily belonging to the Jews, yet claimed worship from them. We evidently have here a recognition of the incarnate God, in harmony with the entire prior history of the case, as we have endeavoured to state it.
Faber, in his Dissertations on Certain Connected Prophetical Passages of Scripture, giving as his authority Asiatic Researches, vol. x. pp. 27, 28, says : ' But the same opinion prevailed
also in the yet more eastern realm of Hindostan. So rife was the expectation of a mighty Prince anterior to the time when Christ was born into the world, an expectation which had spread from Persia into India, that the sovereign of the latter country, uneasy at the prophecies upon which this expectation was founded, and apparently through his Brahmans having heard a report of the expedition of their Magian kindred into the West, sent emissaries in the first year of the Christian era, or when our Saviour had really entered into His fifth year, for the purpose of inquiring whether the predicted royal child had actually made his appearance' (vol. ii. p. 95). And again : ‘This
. persuasion was of no modern date, for it was current, we are told, all over India, and it equally prevailed both among the learned and the unlearned.
Long before the Christian era, a renovation of the world, through the agency of a Saviour who should be a King of peace and justice, was universally expected. Such an expectation is frequently mentioned in the Indian Puranas. The earth complains that she is ready to sink back into the central Hades under the accumulated load of the iniquities
of mankind. On this, that divinity, who in the oldest pagodas is depicted as trampling on the head of the serpent while the serpent bites his heel, administers comfort by an assurance that a Saviour would come to rectify all things, and to abolish the tyranny of evil demons. That Saviour is to be born incarnate of a virgin (vol. ii. p. 50). Here we have not only the expectation, but the native ground or source also, although in all probability it was specially excited at this time, as the learned author suggests, by intercourse with their Persian kindred.
Faber further tells us, on the authority of Dr. Halde's China, vol. i. pp. 360, 361, and Le Compte's China, pp. 118, 200, that ‘a similar expectation of the Great Deliverer also prevailed in China. Confucius was accustomed
. to say that the Holy One must be sought in the West. His saying was carefully handed down to posterity; and at length, in the year 64 after the Christian era, the Emperor Mimti, we are informed, sent messengers into the western regions of India to inquire for the expected Holy One. Here the messengers found a new incarnation of Buddha, and returned with Buddhism instead of Christianity.
The same author quotes a passage from Suetonius, which states that, sixty-three years before the birth of Christ, an oracle was commonly known through Rome and Italy, which declared that · Nature is bringing forth a king to the Roman Empire.' He shows its importance to the people of the time, as it was first applied to Augustus, then used as the reason for saluting Cæsar as king, and finally as the source of Virgil's Pollio.
Finally, he quotes from Suetonius, Tacitus, and Josephus, concurrent testimony to the fact that about the time of the birth of the Saviour there prevailed through the whole East, as known to the Romans, a general persuasion that “a great Prince was shortly about to appear, and to obtain the sovereignty of the universe.' This is variously expressed by the three authors mentioned as follows Suetonius : “Throughout the whole East, an ancient and constant opinion has long prevailed, that they who proceed from Judea are fated to obtain the sovereignty of the world.' Tacitus: The East is about to obtain the pre-eminence, and persons proceeding from Judea are shortly to acquire dominion.' Josephus : ‘About that time some one person, from the country of